Source: https://www.constructiondive.com, April 2, 2018
By: Kim Slowey
Unfortunately, this lack of construction oversight and management is not a one-off occurrence within the VA system. Construction of the VA’s Rocky Mountain Regional Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, is four years behind schedule and the cost now is $2 billion, double the original budget. Congress was so fed up with the agency’s performance that it put the Army Corps of Engineers in charge of any VA construction project expected to cost more than $100 million.
The Rocky Mountain hospital is close to completion, but VA officials had more bad news to deliver to lawmakers in January. Although the new hospital has more than double the square footage than the facility it will replace, design errors have limited the space available for primary care teams, medical beds, psychiatric units and a residential post-traumatic stress disorder program. VA officials said there are also hundreds of small snafus, like surfaces that cannot be cleared, which will require a new contractor to fix the problem.
The new facility’s poor design means that both hospitals will have to remain open for up to five years in order to provide a full scope of services, unless the agency can buy an additional building. However, the VA will still have to spend $350 million to upgrade the older hospital.